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Piracy

Simon & Schuster To Share Piracy Stats with Authors & Agents

Simon & Schuster will now share piracy statistics with authors and agents.

The publisher has worked with Attributor since 2011, a company that searches millions of pages for pirated copies and sends takedown notices every day. Authors can report piracy by using the publisher’s Online Piracy Report Form to report piracy to Attributor. In a letter, Carolyn Reidy explained the new reports:

The reports that you will see provide information about the number of infringements identified and takedown notices sent to infringing sites, success rates in removing infringements, the types of sites where infringement is occurring, the specific urls and geographic distribution of sites where unauthorized copies are offered and more.  (We expect that in the future we will expand upon the information currently available.) We have also provided a set of Frequently Asked Questions to increase your understanding of how piracy occurs and how we are combatting it. All the information we are providing is confidential and private, but please note that we are making the same information available to agents at the Simon & Schuster Agent Portal.

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Carnegie Mellon Professor: ‘Piracy Harms Sales’

AppNewser editor Dianna Dilworth has been covering Digital Book World 2013 all day, bringing back some digital reading intelligence for our readers.

Carnegie Mellon University IT & marketing professor Michael D. Smith talked about digital book piracy: “‘Piracy harms sales,’ he said, claiming that while 3 studies have been published suggested that piracy doesn’t hurt sales, 25 others have shown that piracy is bad for sales. ‘There are options to use legitimate distribution channels to convince people who have stolen your content to buy it.’”

Don’t forget to explore our list of practical resources for publishers: how to fight eBook pirates.

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How To Combat Book Piracy This Year

 

Frustrated novelist Diana Rowland wrote on Twitter today: “Instead of ‘NYT Bestseller’ can I put ‘Torrented by ALL the major pirate sites!’ on the covers of my books?”

If you think book piracy is hurting your book sales, you can confront pirates online by using the tools listed in our Five Ways To Fight Book Pirates post at AppNewser.

At the same time, a few readers suggested that authors engage with pirates instead of taking legal action…

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Google Gives Lower Search Rankings to Piracy Sites

Google has decided to give lower search rankings to piracy sites, revealing that the company’s powerful search algorithm has been adjusted so that “sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.”

The company now counts a staggering amount of copyright notices. According to company records, Google received 4.4 million requests in the last 30 days to take down URLs for copyright violations (see chart above). If you want to learn more about book piracy, explore our posts on How To Fight Book Pirates and Why Readers Pirate eBooks and Writers Engage with eBook Pirates.

Here’s more about the new Google policy:  “Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law. So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won’t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner. And we’ll continue to provide “counter-notice” tools so that those who believe their content has been wrongly removed can get it reinstated. We’ll also continue to be transparent about copyright removals.” (Via Victoria Strauss)

David Pogue Downloads BitTorrent Copy of eBook

Author and New York Times tech columnist David Pogue wrote about his controversial decision to download an eBook from a BitTorrent site.

While searching for a digital copy of The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, Pogue posed a hypothetical question for publishers: “How about worrying about the thousands of dollars a month you’ve been leaving on the table by not offering the books to the public who’s willing to buy it?” He ended up going to a popular site with pirate copies of eBooks.

Check it out: “Eventually, I did what I’m sure thousands of frustrated Ludlum fans wind up doing: I downloaded the book from a BitTorrent site. I know this is wrong. I sure wish I could have paid for it. So I sent the publisher a check for $9.99 for the e-book.”

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Why Readers Pirate eBooks

One confessed eBook pirate asked the Reddit community an important question: “eBook pirates, how do you justify what you do?

We’ve collected seven responses below, complete with links to the comments thread. Publishers, authors and readers should all pay attention to these rationalizations–they will play an important role in the future of publishing.

If you are an author or publisher struggling with pirates, check out our two posts about dealing with piracy: How To Fight Book Pirates and Writers Engage with eBook Pirates.

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Should Writers Engage with eBook Pirates?

We shared five ways to fight book pirates over at AppNewser, but a few readers suggested that authors engage with pirates instead of taking legal action.

Reader MaxEd had a different strategy: “you can stop worrying about piracy. Join those sites you’ve found in step 1&2, start a polite conversation in comments, get free publicity, sell more copies, make people feel good.” Reader P. Bradley Robb added: “I like how you leave out the part about engaging with pirates, asking them if they liked the book and using the initial experience to foster future business relationships.”

What do you think? Should authors fight eBook pirates online or should they engage with these readers? If you choose to take legal action, we outlined the steps in this post. (Photo via fdecomite)

 

Wiley Gets $7,000 for Pirated Book

Federal judge William Pauley has ruled that one reader should pay John Wiley and Sons $7,000 in statutory damages for pirating a copy of WordPress All-in-One for Dummies on a torrent file-sharing site.

According to the court filing, the fine includes $5,000 for copyright infringement and $2,000 for the “counterfeiting of Wiley’s Trademarks.” The publisher had sued a number of BitTorrent users for pirating books, and the plaintiff was the last defendant in the legal action.

TorrentFreak has more details: “This means that aside from the $7,000 in damages from Carpenter, the book publisher may have raked in more than a million dollars though private settlements. Private settlements are usually around $3,000 per person, which quickly adds up with hundreds of defendants.”

Lloyd Shepherd Confronts eBook Pirate

Authors and publishers usually do not like the idea of having their books pirated.

But when author Lloyd Shepherd got the dreaded Google alert linking to a request for an eBook version of his book The English Monster on file sharing site Mobilism, he decided to respond directly.

In an essay in the Guardian, Shepherd recounted how he told the book pirate how much time he spent writing and editing the book. Shepherd wrote: “This is my first book, and this is my first experience of someone attempting to produce a pirate version of it (I do not use the word ‘pirate’ pejoratively, mind). Is there any reason why I shouldn’t expect to be compensated for the time I have put into this?” Read more

17 Publishers Take Legal Action Against File Sharing Sites

A group of 17 publishers from around the world–including HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, The McGraw-Hill Companies and Oxford University Press–have taken legal action to shut down two file sharing sites.

eBookNewser has more: “Yesterday, the Irish-based operators of www.library.nu and www.ifile.it were served with court orders. In the complaint, the publishers claim that www.library.nu illegally acquired more than 400,000 copyrighted eBooks and made them available for free. In addition, the site owners allegedly earned more than $10 million in advertising from the site.”

Tom Allen, president/CEO of Association of American Publishers stated: “For every rogue site that is taken down, there are hundreds more demanding similar effort.  I can’t think of a more timely example of the need for additional tools to expedite such action.”

Currently, library.nu redirects to Google Books and ifile.it has an error message that says “No upload servers currently available, try uploading at a later time.”

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